Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

A wuxia directed by Ang Lee, starring Zhang Ziyi.
A lot of flying fights happen regarding a stolen sword and an outlaw ex-boyfriend. It's complicated.
Besides sounding like a really cool sexual maneuver, this is one of my favorite wuxia films. I just can't get enough flying sword fights. As I said, the plot is too complex to explain here, but the style is absolutely breathtaking. I'm rating this awesome.

Lady Snowblood (1973)

A samurai film directed by Toshiya Fujita.
A child is born to a woman who was raped and whose husband was killed by a gang. The daughter takes on her mother's quest for revenge.
This is the film that Kill Bill was based on. The style is similar to Shogun Assassin, so if you like the red spray paint style of bloodletting, you'll like this. There is some wire-work involved, but not too much. I'm rating it good and trying to find the theme song.

Coonskin (1975)

A crime film by Ralph Bakshi.
A pair of black prisoners plan an escape and their black friends plan to pick them up. The older of the prisoners tells the younger a story while they wait.
There were a few intentional similarities between this and Song of the South. What I'm talking about is the briar patch sequence with the window and the garbage can and the tar baby sequence at the boxing match. Again Bakshi proves himself as the master of mating live action and cartoon. This time, it's in abrupt changes between the 2 media, instead of rotoscoping. If you remember correctly, Ralph Bakshi can do no wrong, so I'm rating this awesome.

My Best Friend's Birthday (1987)

A drama by Quentin Tarantino.
A young man tries to do nice things for his friend on his birthday, but nothing works out.
This is Tarantino through a lo-fi black metal filter. It's disjointed and incomplete. There are classic rock songs and attempts at camera syncopation and non-linear plot, but just like the friend's good wishes, it doesn't work out. It is, however, really cool to see Quentin's first film. I'm rating this adequate because I swore that the director would never get a lower rating and I stand by that promise.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Species series (1995 - 2007)

A science fiction directed by Roger Donaldson, Peter Medak, Brad Turner and Nick Lyon.
Instructions are sent to earth on how to make a new DNA combination and the plan is executed. The life form grows fast and likes to fuck and kill. A space mission to mars collects samples that infect the astronauts with the same genetics. Scientists get into all types of problems over this.
This is total Hollywood bullshit. I don't care that H. R. Giger designed the creature, I still hate the movies. It does create something to write about though: similarities with reality.
The first film was all about genetic manipulation involving human and alien genes. I think I've heard about that somewhere before (Sumerian tablets, David Icke). In the second film, there are corporate logos on the spaceship like Pepsi. Is this a vision of the future or just the present? The lead astronaut is the son of a senator and when talking to his father, he refers to the "master plan". I wonder where they got that bit... (freemasons, Alex Jones, Jordan Maxwell, David Icke). Directly after that, a practice run of a terrorism attack is wrapping up (Alex Jones films) and the media cover up the alien story (Alex jones and some David Icke maybe?). The alien sex drive is INSANE to the point where they will smash through unbreakable glass or rape their targets (Jordan Maxwell and Credo Mutwa can tell you all about this). I didn't take notes during the third film. In the 4th, the characters go into a church that has a sun circle on it with rays coming out diagonally (Jordan Maxwell, David Icke, your local churches). The dying alien wants to confess about killing people in a hospital. When the idea of bringing in a human to kill for DNA to support her life comes up, she says "I'm not a killer" (that accursed "yeah no" thing that everyone says, false paradigm, Alex Jones and David Icke, the naming of government organizations).
If you look this stuff up, it will shock the shit out of you. If you don't, I'm just blowing off steam. Knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

A fantasy directed by Wolfgang Petersen.
A boy picks up a magic book in a bookstore while hiding from bullies. He then skips class to read the book in the spooky attic of the school, staying there well into the night. In the book, a boy hero is called upon to quest for a new name for the dying empress before "The Nothing" destroys the fantasy world of awesomeness.
I don't care how many reviews I just wrote, this film will never suffer that type of wrath. The plot is amazing and the characters are memorable. The style is magical and the pacing is perfect. I even type faster when writing about it! This is some classic '80s cheese, so if you grew up with it like I did, you'll like it as much as I do. Best rating!

Rumble in the Bronx (1995)

An action film directed by Stanley Tong, starring Jackie Chan.
A cop from Hong Kong visits America to attend a wedding and starts a rivalry with a gang while defending the family supermarket and car. Stolen diamonds get hidden in the wheelchair of a handicapped child in the family and the Chinese fuzz has to save everyone.
Being called Rumble in the Bronx, you would think that this would be filmed in New York, right? Wrong! Vancouver! I don't really like Jackie Chan and think his movies lack the physical prowess of others like Tony Jaa (the inhuman master of fu) and the beauty of CTHD (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon). This isn't a bad run of movies that I'm watching. It's the old DVDs and I'm trying to crank out reviews as fast as possible, which means I get tired of it and films get worse ratings because of my mood. Anyway, I'm rating this bad.

The Ninth Gate (1999)

A thriller directed by Roman Polanski, starring Johnny Depp.
A rare book collector investigates whether a book that a client has is real or a forgery. As he journeys and researches, he finds that each of the 3 copies of the book has 3 of nine original illustrations. Together, they can be used to summon the devil.
The occult ideas implied by this film are interesting, but the film itself is dull. Johnny Depp is meant to play much more interesting roles than this. The plot barely goes anywhere, despite the vast journeys of the main character (who is totally static, by the way). That's enough about this. It gets a bad rating.

Fearless (2006)

A kung fu directed by Ronny Yu, starring Jet Li.
A Chinese fighter fights his way to the top of the local scene until he kills an enemy in a bar room brawl that destroys a friend's restaurant. He flees town and is adopted by a poor family in the country. When he goes back to the town, he finds that foreign fighters are beating all the Chinese martial artists and decides to win back the pride of his people.
Despite all of the Hong Kong fooey in this film, I just don't like it. The style is what I have a problem with. It looks pretty like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but it's not. It's ugly and there is no flying. I normally like fu and I normally like Jet Li, but this just rubs me the wrong way somehow. I'm rating it poor.

Casino (1995)

A crime film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.
A mafia gangster runs a casino profitably until an old friend shows up to help. The friend gets into trouble against mob rules. The new money skimmer for the casino keeps track of the skims, which gets them all in trouble and the casino owner marries a rebellious woman who gets into trouble with everyone.
Apparently, this film held the record for number of times people said fuck in a full length feature at 422 fucks. That's a lot of fucking fucks! I believe that Joe Pesky was responsible for most of them. The plot is convoluted and a little unclear, but the narration is awesome. Obviously the characters are "real characters" if you know what I mean. I'm rating this adequate.

The Chronicles of Riddick (2000 & 2004)

A science fiction directed by David Twohy, starring Vin Diesel. A criminal with eyes altered for night vision crash lands on a planet when the prison ship carrying him goes down. He defends the civilians aboard the craft from the monsters on tat planet that only come out at night. Years later (and skipping a film), he fights against an evil and powerful group called the Necromongers.
The first film (named Pitch Black) was decent and almost cool. The anti-hero with night vision fighting night monsters is cool. The CG was decent and it had some style. The later film was terrible! The little gimmick used in the first one had expired and it seemed like a sci-fi channel presentation. I'm giving this a mixed review.

Idlewild (2006)

A musical directed by Bryan Barber, starring Andre 3000, Big Boi and Macy Gray.
The lives of people who perform at a juke joint during the great depression are shown. The piano player is also a mortician and another performer is a gambler.
The male stars are also the ones who composed the music for this film. There are many stage numbers of jazz and blues songs and there are a few CG tricks that involve humor. My favorite of these is the rooster on the flask talking to the man who owns it. I have no doubt that this film was created for a black audience, but some white folks can enjoy it too. I'm rating it adequate.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

A crime film by Quentin Tarantino, starring Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel.
A robbery is planned and goes wrong. The robbers reconvene at a warehouse to figure out what happened.
In classic Tarantino style, this film uses a non-linear plot. Most of it is dialogue and almost none of the characters have real names. They refer to eachother by colors like "Mr. White". The pacing is quick and the style is bold. I'm rating it good.

Jackie Brown (1997)

A crime film by Quentin Tarantino, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Pam Grier and Robert De Niro.
A stewardess gets caught with money and drugs that she is supposed to deliver to her boss who sells guns. The boss bails her out of jail and makes a plan with her to get the rest of his money. The cops make a deal with her to catch her boss when she gives him more money. She makes a deal with the bail bond man to keep the money for herself.
This film is very long at over 2 and a half hours, but well worth it. Like I've said before, Tarantino can do no wrong. That said, this is my least favorite film that he has made. It's much darker than Pulp Fiction, but it uses the same non-linear type of timeline. Pam Grier is like a Picasso painting: her mouth is never centered on her face. Robert De Niro has surprisingly few lines, but the combination of Samuel L. Jackson and Tarantino always ends up with him getting tons of dialogue. Overall, it was pretty cool. I'm rating it adequate and that's the lowest rating this director will ever receive.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pulp Fiction (1994)

A crime film by Quentin Tarantino, starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken and Bruce Willis.
Various gangsters rattle around Los Angeles killing people, robbing them and overdosing on drugs.
The dialogue in this film is the best part. The characters talk about funny things like what a quarter pounder is called in France right before they kill people. The star studded cast makes this possible and the style is to die for. Being as famous and popular as this is, one would think that I would rate it horribly, but remember that Tarantino is one of the people who can do no wrong. I'm rating it best, just like anyone else who reviews it does.

Predator series (1987, 1990 & 2010)

A science fiction directed by John McTiernan, Stephen Hopkins and Nimrod Antal, starring Adrien Brody, Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A hostile alien comes to earth to make trophies of human skulls. A lone warrior must do battle with this hostile life form.
The first film with Schwarzenegger is the best, but the others aren't too bad. There is a lot of action, violence and special effects. The differing styles of the films reflect the style of the time period in which they were made very well. I'm rating this series adequate. It's rating suffered the most from the 1990 film.

Cast Away (2000)

An adventure directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks.
A FedEx boss is on a plane that crashes on a desert island. He survives there and talks to a volleyball until he can make a raft capable of getting past the powerful waves.
I've heard some people talking shit about this film, but I like it. The plot is good and the main character develops well. If it had been made in a different time, it would have been better, but as is, it's not too shabby. I'm rating it adequate.

Joe's Apartment (1996)

A musical comedy directed by John Payson.
A young man moves to New York City and finds that his apartment is infested with speaking cockroaches who want to help him with his new city life.
Made by MTV in the era of alternative rock, the style resembles their other works from this period like The Maxx and Aeon Flux. Some of it is actually funny, but the musical numbers are uber-cheese. I liked it the first time I saw it, but it's not worth re-watching or owning. Someone on the internet has related Joe's city adventure o the life of Jesus, which I think is a little funny. I'm rating it o.k.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

A drama by Paul Thomas Anderson.
A man strikes oil and adopts the son of a worker who is killed on the job. He becomes filthy rich and has a long standing rivalry with the leader of a church.
This is very long and the plot is not very clear. The only good part is in the end when the preacher admits that he is a false prophet and god is a superstition. It's generally very boring and not worth seeing. I watched it so you don't have to. I'm rating it bad.

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

A kung fu by Stephen Chow.
A poor tenement home is attacked by the axe gang and a petty criminal who is a secret kung fu master defends it.
This film is like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon drunk. There's flying and CG and it's all done to make the fu amazing. There is actual character development and a lot of humor that is delivered in a way that Americans aren't used to. It may seem like I've gone soft, but I'm reviewing old DVDs again. I'm rating this best.

Silent Hll (2006)

A horror directed by Christophe Gans.
A woman and her daughter go to a ghost town. They crash their car and when the mother wakes up, her daughter is gone. She braves hordes of hideous mutants to reclaim her child.
Hey, wasn't I just talking about Hollywood bullshit? This is it! ...but not too bad. Special effects could become a character in this film and the plot is a little light. THAT is what I mean by "new Hollywood bullshit". NHB aside, I kind of like the mutants and monsters and there are some suspenseful and surprising moments. I'm rating this o.k.

Seondhand Lions (2003)

A drama directed by Tim McCanlies.
A boy goes to live with his uncles. The uncles had previously had wild adventures in Africa and brought home piles of gold.
This is the opposite of "new Hollywood bullshit". Interestingly, magic wands are made of wood from the holly tree, hence the name of the place that produces things to put a spell on us. Anyway, the characters are good and the flashback plot is epic. This is one of the films that defines a solid, green rating. That's why I'm rating it good.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

A musical by John Cameron Mitchell.
An East German gay man elopes with an American soldier and they go to America. The main character has a faulty sex change operation before leaving Germany. The soldier leaves his "bride" and he/she forms a rock band with a boy from a babysitting job. They part ways and the German forms a new band. He/She tells his/her life story in flashback.
I don't really like musicals, but this is an exception. The main character is portrayed very well and the plot is interesting. The style is also cool. I'm rating this adequate and that's like any non-musical getting something better than best.

Kill Bill (2003 & 2004)

A kung fu by Quentin Tarantino, starring Uma Thurman and David Carradine.
At a dress rehearsal for a wedding, a group of assassins show up and try to kill everyone there. The bride (their main target) survives and when she wakes from her coma, she begins a quest for revenge.
I wish that I had kept track of how many times I've watched this. It would probably be in the triple digits. It is best appreciated by watching the films in close succession. Kung fu in Tarantino style can't go wrong. I'm rating this best.

Death Proof (2007)

An action film by Quentin Tarantino, starring Kurt Russell.
"Stuntman Mike" has a penchant for vehicular manslaughter and a stunt car that is reinforced to keep him alive in crashes. He targets attractive young women.
Quentin Tarantino makes good movies. It's a fact and this is no exception. The characters are developed very well and the style is perfect. There are references to other films in the dialogue of some of the women in the film and I've already reviewed Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, but I haven't reviewed Vanishing Point. I will. Jungle Julia performs some perfect windmills with her hair in the bar that would make any metal band proud. The really cool part is when they beat the piss out of these expensive cars. It's not quite a Carrie smash, but any destruction of automobiles is good. I'm rating this awesome because it has style to spare.

Fritz the Cat series (1972 & 1974)

A comedy by Ralph Bakshi.
An anthropomorphic cat smokes cannabis and gets involved in wild adventures.
Ralph Bakshi does a good job on these films. The soundtracks are full of wah-wah guitar sounds and overdriven organs. These films were referred to as "dirty Disney" at some point in history for obvious reasons. There is cartoon nudity throughout the set. I liked the idea of using crows for black people. I'm rating this good.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Innocents (1961)

A thriller by Jack Clayton.
A nanny gets a job taking care of the spoiled and neglected children of a rich man. She sees ghosts of a pair of servants around the house.
This is one of the films that I call a "pretty waste of time". The camera-work and framing of the scenes was great, but the plot was not so great. The boy is more eloquent and well-spoken than any child could be these days and the girl lets out these blood-curdling screams. I have to give the little boy credit for being more "black metal" than me. He sleeps with dead birds in his bed like Pelle from Mayhem. It wasn't very good, so I'm rating it poor.

The Devil's Nightmare (1971)

A drama by Jean Brismee.
A group of tourists stays in an old castle that is haunted.
The climax of this film is the 2 women tourists having a "personal moment". The castle is haunted by a succubus who never undresses, yet the women tourists disrobe completely. They caress eachother on the bed and make all things good. This brings into question breast quality. When laying on her back, a woman's breasts should retain their volume and they do this wonderfully in this film. I'm rating it o.k. because it's a short load of trash with good boobs.

Session 9 (2001)

A thriller directed by Brad Anderson.
A team of asbestos removal men work in an insane asylum and one of the men goes crazy.
The plot was nearly incoherent and the style was crap. The characters were totally static, but I guess the pacing was alright. There were some cool shots of spiders in the beginning, but that couldn't save this pile of dung. The plot definitely twists in the end, but how is a mystery, maybe even to the people who made this. I watched this so you won't have to. I'm rating it shit.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Haunted (1995)

A drama by Lewis Gilbert, starring Kate Beckinsale.
A psychologist goes to investigate a haunted house and begins a romantic relationship with a young woman who lives there.
This was a nice change from the creepy haunting films that I was watching, but not so great otherwise. The best thing about it was the scorching female lead. It seemed like the whole movie was about making it look like the time period intended and Kate Beckinsale wearing lipstick. There's a plot twist in the end, but it actually made me like the film less. I'm rating it poor, as it was saved from a worse rating by Kate's lipstick.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Haunting (1963)

A horror by Robert Wise.
A researcher calls a few people to investigate a haunted house with him. One woman, a shut-in, is driven insane by the house.
This is the "old version" of Rose Red and a better one. It's not that it's more scary, but it has class and style. The new versions lack subtlety and finesse. Again, it's part of a crowd of haunted house investigation flicks, but at least it's one of the first. I'm rating this good for those qualities that newer movies just don't possess.

The Haunted (1991)

A made for TV horror directed by Robert Mandel.
A family moves into a duplex with the grandparents and weird things start happening. They seek help from the church and from demonologists.
This film may not be as popular as other haunting films, but it has something that is only equaled in the first Poltergeist: style. It's creepy and spooky and you can feel the tension that it creates. The pacing is nice and slow, so it seems like a longer film than it really is and when it ends, it leaves me wanting more. Not many films can do that. I'm rating it best.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Blob (1988)

A horror remake directed by Chuck Russell.
A meteorite crashes in a small town and some goo attaches itself to a homeless man. Teens bring the homeless man to the hospital, but while he is waiting for the doctor, the goo devours him. The blob continues to eat people and a military team arrives because they were the ones who created the meteorite.
This was pretty similar to the 1958 version. The teenage heroes being persecuted by stupid cops was the main similarity. I seem to remember a catchy rock song at the end of the original, where this one has cheesy power pop. This one left itself open for sequels in the end (in classic '80s fashion). I'm giving it the same o.k. rating that I gave the original.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Entity (1981)

A horror directed by Sidney J. Furie.
A woman is attacked by unseen forces in her home and repeatedly raped by invisible men. She goes to a psychologist who says that she is having hallucinations. She then finds supernatural researchers who try to document her attacks.
What stood out to me the most was the sound used in the beginning of the film when an attack would take place. It almost sounded like heavy metal. I've seen tons of films like this and they're all the same. This one is no exception. They all have static characters whose only change is to get stressed out by ghosts. The plots are predictable, but the style and pacing are usually good because most of the films are from the '80s. I'm rating this o.k. because it fits the mold.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Changeling (1980)

A horror directed by Peter Medak.
When a composer's wife and daughter die, he moves into an old house. He finds that the house is haunted by the spirit of a child who was killed there.
This is one of those boring horror films that is really slow moving. The style was good and the characters were identifiable. When the medium comes in to help the composer with his haunting problem, she just keeps asking the ghost question after question. She barely gives the poltergeist any time to respond and then she loops the questions again. I'm rating it o.k. because it was a little dull, but not bad.

Phantasm series (1979 - 1998)

A series of horror films by Don Coscarelli, starring Reggie Bannister.
An evil "tall man" uses dead people for his own reasons. He sweeps across the country, vacating towns. A crew of 3 friends catch onto his game in the first town and follow the trail, even though their number diminishes.
This is full moon material, but not by full moon. Apparently, there can be good, but cheesy horror outside of that label. The characters were dynamic, although the plots were predictable. The Reggie character lost sex appeal through the series. He couldn't get women into bed as easily and that's what I call a dynamic character. I'm rating the series adequate for entertaining me, but being a little too cheesy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Paycheck (2003)

An action film directed by John Woo, starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman.
A reverse engineer works for a company for 3 years and then has his memory erased. When he goes to collect his pay, he receives an envelope full of common items and the company people begin to chase him. He had invented a way to see the future and has to alter the future that he saw.
Uma Thurman is cool, but she doesn't make up for Ben Affleck. This is besides the fact that she has trouble picking up an envelope, let alone using any kung fu. I liked the deal about a bunch of ordinary items being used to change the future and the pacing was quick and kept my attention. The style was very "new Hollywood bullshit". I'm rating it o.k. for the balance of good and bad.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Arn The Knight Templar (2007)

A drama directed by Peter Flinth.
A boy who grows up in a monastery gets involved in local political intrigue when he returns to his home as a man. The sister of the woman he loves claims that he seduced her before impregnating her sister out of wed-lock. The woman is sent to be a nun and the man is sent to fight in the crusades.
The characters in this film didn't show any emotion and the subtitles were tiny. It was like one of those bad samurai flicks, but with white people. At least the characters were different enough to tell them apart, but maybe that's just because I'm white. The plot was inconclusive and the pacing was very slow. I'm rating it poor.

Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

A music biography directed by Jim McBride, starring Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder.
Jerry Lee Lewis becomes a rock star playing the piano and singing. He then marries his (much) younger cousin.
The music was the same throughout the film, as if it were just one long song. The characters were static and the plot was stereotypical. I'm rating it o.k. because there was some entertainment value.

Barbarella (1968)

A science fiction directed by Roger Vadim, starring Jane Fonda.
A space-woman goes to a planet in search of a man from earth. When she gets there, she encounters a mess.
The soundtrack and innuendo made this a classic. The plot is the cheesiest I've ever seen and the characters were even cheesier. Come on, a character named Duran Duran? It may not have been a joke then, but it's a joke now! I'm doing so partly out of spite, but this gets an awesome rating. The spite part is useless though, because the target does not read my blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)

A crime film directed by John Hough, starring Peter Fonda.
A duo of car racers rob a supermarket. The woman that one of them slept with the night before joins them and they try to outrun the long arm of the law.
This film was all about the car chase. They shove cop cars off the road, break their vehicles and tangle with a helicopter. The plot was simple, but good and I liked the characters. Simple movie, simple review. It did what it needed to do, so I'm rating it good.

The Karate Kid series (1984, 1986 & 1989)

An action film directed by John G. Avildsen, starring Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki "Pat" Morita.
An American boy learns karate from an older man from Okinawa.
I was hoping to write a big article here about Mr. Miyagi's illustrious kung fu career, but it's not going to happen. He's an American actor whose best work was done in the Karate kid films. These movies are cheesy classics of the '80s with sparse plots and generally static characters. Daniel changes a little in the movies, but it's nothing to write home about. My most vivid memories of the second film include watching it when as a child, I would have chronic nosebleeds. I'm rating these films adequate and I will not rate The Next Karate Kid, despite Miyagi's presence in the cast.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Fall of Ako Castle (1978)

A samurai film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, starring Sonny Chiba and Toshiro Mifune.
In reaction to a string of insults, a feudal lord draws his sword in the shogunate castle. He is sentenced to death and his family name will be abolished. The rest of his clan plot revenge on the man who insulted their lord and was not punished.
This is the same story as 47 Ronin, but presented much better. It's 2 and a half hours long, but worth watching. The plot is amazingly coherent, but the characters seemed like an army of clones. I guess that's where the thing about all Japanese people looking the same comes from. I'm rating this adequate.

Cemetery Man (1994)

A comedy horror directed by Michele Soavi.
A grave digger fights zombies and tries to find love.
The main character was extremely dynamic and the plot was good. I liked the style of humor very much. The style of the film was also good. It's one of those "you have to see it to understand" films. I'm rating it good.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ashes of Time Redux (2008)

A drama by Wong Kar-Wai.
An assassin bookie does his job and customers pass through.
This isn't any different from ashes of time (1994). Almost nothing changed and if anything, I think it's worse than the original. I was looking for wuxia action, but none was delivered. I'm rating it shit because in 14 years, the director couldn't make this movie decent.

Poltergeist series (1982, 1986 & 1988)

A horror directed by Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg, Brian Gibson and Gary Sherman, starring Heather O'Rourke and Zelda Rubinstein.
A girl's family is cursed and followed by the ghost of a dead preacher and his congregation. They call a spiritual woman to help them fight the evil ghosts.
The first film is a classic. 1982 was a good year for media and the magic style of that time period is imbued in the film. The special effects were spooky and the timing was great. The sequels are a bit cheesy, but not too shabby. Carol Anne's character is extremely static, always playing the helpless victim. In fact, all the characters are as static as the TV show that lets the ghosts out in the first film. The plot is interesting and there is a great deal of entertainment value. I'm rating it adequate. The first film would have gotten awesome on it's own, but this is a series and the sequels dragged the rating down.

The Right Stuff (1983)

A drama directed by Phillip Kaufman.
Test pilots move up to astronaut status.
The characters are static and the plot is slow moving, hence, no good pacing. I'm rating this film o.k. to because it just wasn't special in any way.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Over the Top (1987)

An adventure directed by Menahem Golan, starring Sylvester Stallone.
A trucker who competes in arm wrestling competitions sees his son for the first time when he picks the child up from a military academy. They drive across the country to see the sick mother and have disagreements about custody with the grandfather. The trucker also competes in the world championship of arm wrestling.
Leave it to Stallone. In this film, he's the "Rocky" of arm wrestling. The final conflict is drawn out for extra suspense and to get the audience cheering at the screen. It has that late '80s style that I like so much and the pacing is perfect. Call me a softy, but I like '80s Stallone flicks. I'm rating it good.

The Last Castle (2001)

A war film directed by Rod Lurie, starring Robert Redford.
A high ranking army man in put in prison for war crimes. The prison warden and guards are abusive and sometimes kill prisoners. Lead by the new inmate, the prisoners revolt.
The main characters in this were absolutely static, while the supporting cast changed around them. The plot was decent, as were the style and pacing. I'm rating it adequate.